Using Facebook Ads as Market Research for your book

I had learned from a fellow writer and strategist, Earl Wilcox of Plannerzone that Facebook offered interesting opportunities -- at very low cost, even as low as $5 a day, to test different titles, concepts, what have you-- if you specify that you pay for the "click" and not the impression.  It sounded like fun.

Using Facebook advertising, I learned a huge amount in a short time, for about $30.

It's easy to target with Facebook. You can target women who like Chopin and who own a Kindle.  You can target cat lovers, dog lovers, farmers.  You can specify country, even region.  I decided to target women U.S. 25-64, college graduates, who express an interest in literature.  My  "target group" shrank to about 860,000 women out of all Facebook users.  So, that was useful data in itself.  (I would advise all authors to try this exercise.)

But then the fun began.

I created a baseline ad and let it run-- I decided to pay $1 a click, but that depends on the size of your market.  (Niche markets are pricier by definition.)  I limited spending to $10 a day.

My ad got zero clicks, so I paid $0.  Obviously, my language was a flop.  Zero isn't good.

Using Facebook's "Create a Similar Ad," I took the same ad and on Facebook's advice, I created a slightly modified version.  Facebook suggests varying ONLY one thing for each new ad.  I changed the headline in Test Ad #1. Then I changed the target (same copy) in Test Ad #2, and so on.  I had 5 ads running for the same campaign, all for $10/day -- and let Facebook optimize them for clicks.

Without boring you with the details, I found that one ad got 30 clicks, and the others almost none.  What did I do in the Test Ad?  I used language that an Amazon review had used in describing the book-- I merely copied her phrase, "Like an old Hollywood movie."  That was also a good lesson!

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